Lake Mendota, Madison, Wisconsin

Research

The overall theme behind Dr. Remucal’s research is the formation and fate of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in water. We are particularly interested in the production of ROS by photochemical reactions and by metal redox reactions, and on how these ROS interact with aqueous contaminants and with biomolecules. By studying these fundamental reaction mechanisms, our group aims to develop models and real world applications that can be used to improve water quality.

Dr. Remucal’s Aquatic Chemistry research group works in two major areas. First, we investigate the transformation of polar organic contaminants in both natural and engineering aquatic systems. We are interested in photochemical reaction mechanisms, oxidative transformation at mineral surfaces, and fate in drinking water treatment systems. Second, we study the molecular composition and reactivity of dissolved organic matter (DOM). We couple optical properties and analysis by high resolution mass spectrometry to assess the photochemical reactivity and the production of disinfection by-products by DOM.

Research Chart

Current Projects

Our group is currently studying the photochemical degradation mechanisms of two lampricides, 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) and 5-chlor-N-(2 chloro-4-nitrophenyl)-2-hydroxibenzamide (niclosamide), in natural waters. Large amounts of these compounds are routinely applied to tributaries of the Great Lakes in order to combat the invasive sea lamprey, yet little is known about their environmental fate.

The photochemical reactions of dissolved organic matter (DOM) are responsible for the production of many ROS in sunlit surface waters. Our group is applying a novel size fractionation technique to characterize DOM according to its apparent molecular weight and investigating the photochemical behavior and high resolutionmass spectrum of each size fraction.

We are also involved in two on-going collaborations. First, we study the transformation of endocrine disruptors by manganese oxides in collaboration with Matt Ginder-Vogel. Second, we partner with Jae-Hyuk Yu to investigate the metabolism of polyaromatic hydrocarbons by Aspergillus.

Our research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council, and the University of Wisconsin Graduate School.